LANGUAGE CENTRE RESEARCH PROGRAM
2011-2016
INTRODUCTION
According to the Charter of Sultan Qaboos University, one of the main functions of the
Language Centre in its continuous effort to assure quality language education is to carry
out research in the field of English teaching and learning. This function is based on the
rationale that it is through research that teachers and the institution itself can come to
better understanding of the various situations or phenomena that could emerge in
language teaching contexts, and the factors that shape them. Research can also afford
teachers insight into the process of teaching and encourage them to be observant,
analytical and reflective.
The LC Strategic plan 2007-2012 documented the importance of enhancing awareness
of and access to available resources at SQU; strengthening the standing of the LC at
SQU as teaching and research institution; creating an atmosphere conducive to
research and enhance and facilitating the exchange of ideas and experience amongst
LC teachers and other researchers from inside and outside the university.
According to The LC Strategic plan 2007-2012 in order to create an atmosphere
conducive to research and enhance the standing of the LC at SQU necessary actions
are to devise a research program for the Language Centre; allocate project time for
faculty to conduct research on agreed LC research projects, and request funds for
large-scale research projects based on LC needs from the Deanship of Postgraduate
Studies and Research (PGSR).
The research program focuses on research ideas related to the needs of the LC and
addresses important issues of concern to either the teacher or the students or both.
These ideas not only address the immediate concerns of teaching and learning in the
LC ELT context, but also aim at enhancing the quality of both short term and long term
education we offer to our students.
OVERVIEW
The Research Program is a source of knowledge and expertise, and rigorous and
critical analysis in support of all the Language Center’s programs. Seeking to maximize
the impact of the research investment by focusing in several areas of English language
teaching situation, the Research Program is composed of four main themes. These
themes are driven by current action research and projects at the Language Centre, and
perceptions about future requirements of language education.
THEME 1
Investigating English Language Teaching Situation in Oman With Special Reference to
Establishing Connections between Secondary and Tertiary English
THEME 2
Investigation of the needs of the LC with regards to launching and implementation of the
General Foundation Program
Prepared by Dr. Victoria Tuzlukova
THEME 3
Study of colleges’ English language requirements and needs’ assessment
THEME 4
Accessing academic English language writing needs of postgraduate students at Sultan
Qaboos University
The suggested themes of the Research Program will involve the Language Centre
faculty in meaningful ways in long term and short term research projects specially
designed to cover all levels of the language education at Sultan Qaboos University, and
bridge secondary, tertiary and post-graduate programs.
Prepared by Dr. Victoria Tuzlukova
Appendix 1
Action plan
Theme
Investigating
English Language
Teaching Situation
in
Oman
With
Special Reference
to
Establishing
Connections
between Secondary
and Tertiary English
Summary
This study is aimed
at examining the
construction
and
dynamics of English
teaching
systems
and communities at
both
secondary
school
and
university
levels.
This will be followed
by comparing both
systems in order to
identify
their
similarities
and
differences.
The
identification
of
differences
will
provide a platform
for the creation of
guidelines
to
mitigate
these
differences
and
provide a smooth
entry
to
the
university for the
Omani high school
students and their
further adjustment
to the university life.
Investigation of the
needs of the LC
with
regards
to
launching
and
implementation of
the
General
Foundation
Program
This study is aimed Dr. Saleh Al-Busaidi September
2011at
monitoring, and Dr. Victoria September 2014
analysis
and Tuzlukova
description of the
General Foundation
Programs
and
contributing to their
future development
in SQU and other
Prepared by Dr. Victoria Tuzlukova
Researchers
Timeline
Dr.
Fawzia
Al- January
2012Seyabi
and
Dr. January 2015
Victoria Tuzlukova
academic
postsecondary
education providers
in Oman.
Study of colleges
English
language
requirements
and
needs’ assessment
Accessing
academic English
language
writing
needs
of
postgraduate
students at Sultan
Qaboos University
Prepared by Dr. Victoria Tuzlukova
Dr. Ali Al-Zafeiti and January
2012Dr. Saleh Al-Busaidi January 2015
Appendix 2
Overview of Research Themes
THEME 1
Investigating English Language Teaching Situation in Oman With Special
Reference to Establishing Connections between Secondary and Tertiary English
TIMELINE: January 2012 – January 2015
This study is aimed at examining the construction and dynamics of English teaching systems
and communities at both secondary school and university levels. This will be followed by
comparing both systems in order to identify their similarities and differences. The identification
of differences will provide a platform for the creation of guidelines to mitigate these differences
and provide a smooth entry to the university for the Omani high school students and their further
adjustment to the university life.
THEME 2
Investigation of the Needs of the Language Centre With Regards to Launching
and Implementation of the General Foundation Program
TIMELINE: September 2011 – September 2014
This study is aimed at monitoring, analysis and description of the General Foundation Programs
and contributing to their future development in SQU and other academic post-secondary
education providers in Oman. The practical significance of this study is envisioned in
establishing a better understanding of the construction/dynamics of GFPs in SQU;
disseminating the results of the study within broader academic community in Oman and suggest
recommendation for GFPs future development and implementation; identifying and introducing
practical administrative measures and educational interventions for GFPs smooth running and
further development; increasing GFPs’ students readiness to their further study at the university
and assuring high quality professional development for the teachers.
Subthemes: Management, administration and logistics of GFPs; Agents’ (teachers and
students) beliefs and attitudes towards GFPs; Curriculum, teaching materials and
instruction; Assessment.
Outline of proposed activities
a) Compiling a co-edited book of academic nature “General Foundation Programs in
Higher Education in the Sultanate of Oman: Experiences, Challenges and Prospects” that will
provide an account of current running of General Foundation Programs (GFPs) in Oman and
include descriptive, analytical and empirical research papers covering a wide range of
experiences, ideas, methodologies and trends. The proposed publication will contribute to
dissemination of information, knowledge, experience, and applied research findings in the field
of education and language learning pedagogy.The book will also serve as a valuable resource
Prepared by Dr. Victoria Tuzlukova
and a reference guide for the comprehensive presentation and coverage of the General
Foundation Programs current running in the Sultanate of Oman.
b) Professional Development and Research Unit
 Gather information on GFPs in SQU, Oman and worldwide
 Create a section on GFPs in Teachers’ Resource Centre in the Language Centre
 Create an electronic resource of literature on GFPs and their current running at different
institutions in Oman and broader academic community
 Invite teachers and researchers in Oman to share their experiences of GFPs in an edited
book
 Create an electronic database of teaching materials used in different aspects of GFPs,
i.e. English, Maths, IT and General Skills and conduct an investigation of the lexicon
compatibility
 Initiate research projects aimed at catering short-term and long-term needs of the
Language Centre with regard to GFP based on the suggestions of the LC units, e.g.
b) Curriculum Unit
 Initiate research projects aimed at:
 Identification of the possible gaps between secondary school and GFP curricula
requirements with a special focus on study skills (nomenclature, range, time needed for
specific skill training, etc.)
 Identification of secondary school teachers’ and students’ awareness of GFP
requirements
 Exploration of secondary school teachers’ and students’ perceptions of GFP
requirements
 Identification of secondary school teachers’ and students’ perceptions about the role of
GFP in bridging the gap between secondary and tertiary education
 Exploration of the role of GFP in preparing students for their studies in the colleges
 A study of the relationship between the Language Centre students’ needs and college
requirements
 Identification of possible language gaps between GFP’s aspects, i.e. English, IT, Math’s
 Identification of similarities and differences between IELP and GFP curricula:
Administration and Pedagogical Focus
 Identification of effective ways and mechanisms to enhance learner autonomy in GFP
 Exploration of the overloaded schedules on FPEL performance and achievement
Prepared by Dr. Victoria Tuzlukova
THEME 3
Study of colleges English language requirements and needs’ assessment
Theme 4
Accessing Academic English Language Writing Needs of Postgraduate Students
at Sultan Qaboos University
Prepared by Dr. Victoria Tuzlukova
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LANGUAGE CENTRE RESEARCH PROGRAM 2011-2016 INTRODUCTION